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From the 1968 to the 2023 Apprentice of the Year: ANCA’s Daniel Malone wins at the 2023 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards

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Daniel Malone, Apprentice of the Year 2023

Daniel Malone, a fourth-year apprentice at ANCA in Bayswater North, has claimed the 2023 Apprentice of the Year award. This honour is especially gratifying to ANCA co-founder Pat McCluskey, who established the formal Apprenticeship program at ANCA and was himself the Apprentice of the Year in 1968.

ANCA has valued learning through apprenticeships since its beginning and the company has a proud history of investing in its people to develop a highly skilled and engaged workforce.

Mr McCluskey said: “Daniel makes all of us at ANCA very proud. As Machine Tool builders it is important that we train our Apprentices in our own Apprentice School. For me especially, this win by Daniel warms my heart and gives meaning to why I set up the Apprentice School in the beginning. I’m a time served apprentice, and nothing pleases me more, than to see young men like Daniel, pay us back in spades.”
ANCA’s apprentices get exposure to CNC machining, precision fitting, electrical testing and grinding applications throughout their four-year program, which offers a range of technical training paths. This progressive learning pathway through the company gives a holistic understanding of how ANCA’s complex products are designed and manufactured.

No two days are ever the same for an ANCA apprentice.

Apprentice of the Year, Daniel Malone said: “From first learning about ANCA’s apprenticeship program, I knew it was something I wanted to pursue. Until that point, I was under the impression that the only way to have a career in Engineering was to go to university and get a degree.”

“I like the dynamic aspect of being an ANCA apprentice, working to very fine tolerances that sometimes need to be within one micron is sort of mind blowing to think about. Some of the machines we build are equipped with the latest in innovative technologies for our industry and its always cool to see and work on new technologies and assemblies being developed and used on our machines.”

The program at ANCA includes four-month rotations, where the trainees experience building motors and spindles, sub-assemblies, and machines to testing, commissioning, and servicing. Every day can be different with hands on learning complementing formal study of Certificate III in Mechanical Trade. Further study is also encouraged, such as a Diploma in Engineering Technology in Mechatronics.

Daniel, who is completing a mechatronic fitting and turning apprenticeship said: “ANCA’s program helps connect the dots between the theoretical and the practical. First you learn engineering fundamentals through study and then you hit the shop floor and see those fundamentals reinforced in the tool work.”

“It is a community effort across ANCA to support the apprenticeship program and this win is a direct reflection on all those moving parts of the program. From the Apprentice Master to production managers to everyone on the shop floor – I want to say thanks to everyone who has been a part of the journey.”
“It feels good to be recognised for my contributions as an apprentice and I appreciate that ANCA has taken the time to nominate me. I am honoured to win, if a little bit shocked – it is a very humbling experience.”
“I view building ANCA CNC machines as like building a Rolls Royce, we are building the best machines within our sector and are a market leader for that. To know that there are machines out there that I contributed directly to building - it’s an awesome feeling.”

ANCA CEO Martin Ripple, Daniel Malone and ANCA Co-Founders Pat and Libby Boland

Empowering a stronger manufacturing industry.

ANCA aspires to create a thriving manufacturing industry. Training our own apprentices through a world-class program, is not only a way to fill a skills gap for our niche and complex industry, it also contributes back to the industry as a whole.

The program offers generally younger employees the opportunity to learn a diverse set of skills. There are not many companies or TAFEs, or universities that gives the experience you get a company like ANCA, where we have been successfully training highly skilled technicians for over 12 years. The skills in precision manufacturing apprentices accumulate adds value to any business they end up in.

Former apprentices have gone on to work in roles at ANCA including - Research and Technology Manager, Operations Manager, Service Technician, Commissioner, Precision Fitter, CNC operator, Manufacturing Engineer, Engineering Manager, Regional Manager, and Technical Leader. Many trained apprentices travel and work in ANCA’s overseas branches to gain firsthand experience working with customers across the aerospace, automotive, 3C, woodworking and medical industries, delivering onsite service.

ANCA currently has 16 apprentices in the program Bayswater, with three to five new apprentices starting every year. The next intake will be advertised shortly.

In 2019, ANCA established an Apprentice Training Centre at our Thailand facility. With a similar training pathway to Australia, the program at ANCA Thailand upskills the local workforce.

The Apprenticeship Program has built a highly skilled team who can support ANCA’s business globally. The knowledge acquired through the program provides a deep understanding of machine tool fundamentals. As a niche industry, we recognise the importance of growing the technical knowledge and experience required to keep our position as a global leader in CNC tool and cutter grinding industry.

Daniel added: “Previously I had no idea that places like ANCA, that are a market leader in their field were manufacturing within Victoria. Now working at ANCA and seeing what we do, it has really broadened my perspective on Victorian manufacturing.”

Find out more about ANCA’s apprenticeship program at:

31 August 2023